Not The Target

Photography/Corina Mitrescu

Photography/Corina Mitrescu

Last night I had a dream about a shooting

two minutes from my house

in the parking lot across from my first school.


A dream about a hate crime destroying a party

for a Muslim friend’s graduation.

The banner we all signed torn straight down the middle.


I saw cars coming down the road,

and I began running for my life

leaving my friends to fend for themselves.


But I ran the wrong way

towards the road where their cars could surely catch me.

Fear was driving, not logic.


Headlights on me, then he passed me. Why?

Last night my mistake was not fatal

because I was not the target victim.


Last night I was lucky to be Jewish

to be wearing stereotypical American teen clothes

a baseball cap in good-worn condition.


You see, I should have died with my friends.

Honesty, I should have died trying to help.

I should have died because I am not Islamophobic.


Last night I had a dream that I’ve never had before

triggered by all of the hate rooted in society.

Hate brings fear and today I am fearful.


Last night I had a nightmare

but today it’s fueling my words, my actions.

We can’t be bystanders any longer.